Megan Rapinoe, the U.S. National Women’s Soccer star, was named one of the Glamour’s 2019 Women of the Year on Monday (Nov. 11).
During her acceptance speech, she made sure to recognize Colin Kaepernick, who she says she wouldn’t be here without.
The 34-year-old pointed out that she was being presented an award for her work fighting against inequality and discrimination while Kaepernick is still banned from the NFL for kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice.
Rapinoe thanked him for his “courage and bravery,” emphasizing his ability to do what’s necessary, unafraid of consequences.
“I see no clearer example of that system being alive and well than me standing before you right now,” said Rapinoe, Glamour reported. “It would be a slap in the face to Colin, and to so many other faces, not to acknowledge, and for me personally, to work relentlessly to dismantle that system that benefits some over the detriment of others, and frankly is quite literally tearing us apart in this country.”
She continued her speech to thank others who have given her a platform.
“I’m not going to act like it wasn’t Colin Kaepernick, Tarana Burke and the #MeToo Movement, Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi of Black Lives Matter, the women of Time’s Up, Harvey Milk, Gloria Steinem, Audre Lorde, Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, and the injustices that so many others face that have put me in this very position.”
Rapinoe has been known for standing by the actions of Kaepernick. She was photographed kneeling during the national anthem at a game back in 2016 and has since not participated in the anthem at all. She has also been at the forefront of the fight for equal pay for the USWNT.
At the awards, she explained that they have the opportunity to redefine what power, influence and success work. Ending her speech, Rapinoe encouraged everyone to be better and keep moving forward with the momentum that has been built.
“So everybody: We have to do more. We’re here. We're ready. Everyone’s ready to do more? Good!”
(Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Glamour)